Archive | June, 2008

Centurion Card Benefits (US) 2008-2009

Complete List of the American Express Centurion Card Benefits.

Frequent Flier Programs

  • Continental Airlines Gold
  • Delta Airlines Gold
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways Gold
  • US Airways Platinum

Automatic Baggage Insurance Coverage

  • Up to 3,000 loss or damaged carry-on
  • Up to 2,000 beyond Common Carrier coverage for checked bags

Card member Annual Travel Benefits

Annual Reward $100 credit to book a cruise or land vacation via Centurion Travel Service.

Car Rental Elite Status

  • Avis Preferred
  • Hertz Gold

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance Plan

Automatic coverage for theft or damage on rental vehicles.

Centurion Airport Lounge Program

  • American Airlines Admirals Club lounges
  • Continental Airlines Presidents Club
  • Delta Crown Room Club
  • Northwest Airlines WorldClubs
  • Priority Pass (access to over 450 airport lounges)
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses

Centurion Cruise Credits

  • $500 shipboard credits for cruises booked through Centurion Travel Service (CTS)
  • Receive additional upgrades and amenities (cruise partner specific)

Centurion Destinations Vacations

Unique vacation experiences and up to 25,000 Membership Rewards points and amenity valued at $200 when booked through Centurion Travel Service or Centurion Destination Vacations.

Centurion Travel Service

Full service, 24/365 travel agency and concierge specific tailored to Centurion cardholders, see Travel Insights. Benefits of booking through this service include special amenities available to Centurion cardholders only such as: Fine Hotels & Resorts, Centurion Hotel Privileges at 600 properties around the world at Peninsula, Aman, Orient Express, Mandarin Oriental and Ritz-Carlton hotels (special rates, late check out, room upgrades, continental breakfast, hotel amenities), International Airline Program (companion tickets), Centurion Cruise Privileges, Centurion Villas, Exclusive Resorts (25 destinations worldwide), Abercrombie & Kent Villas, Beautiful Places, Four Seasons Residence Clubs, LaCURE, The Mansion at MGM Grand, and Villas of Distinction, Centurion Destination Vacations, The Limousine Program, etc.

Hotel Elite Status

  • Hilton Family of Hotels (HHonors Gold)
  • InterContinental® Hotels and Resorts (Gold)
  • Starwood® Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (SPG)
  • Club 5C Relais & Châteaux

The Limousine Program

Access to Limousine service partners, and triple Membership Rewards points for booking.

Premium Global Assist Hotline

  • 24/7 Medical, Legal, Financial, and other Emergency Assistance.
  • Arrange Transfer to Medical Facility by Air or Ambulance
  • Prescription Replacements
  • Emergency Hotel Check-in
  • Immediate Cash Access
  • Lost Luggage Recovery and Tracking
  • Stolen passport assistance
  • Emergency cancellation and Replacement

Private Jet Services Program

Charter private jets, receive membership and fractional use in programs by six private jet partners.

The Ritz Carlton Club

Vacations in unique residences with all comfort of Hotel including on-site amenities, concierge services, and housekeeping.
Space Adventures’ Spaceflight Club Membership

Complimentary membership with Space Adventures (space tourism company). Membership in the Spaceflight Club provides invitations to special space-related events, private tours of launch facilities, a credit towards a suborbital flight reservation, etc.

Travel Accident Insurance

Automatic coverage for up to 1.5 Million in accidental death and dismemberment coverage when traveling by plane, train, helicoptor, ship, or bus charged to the card.
Private Yacht Program Access and Special Amenities ($750 or more)

  • Fraser Yachts
  • International Yacht Collection

LifeStyle / Experiences

  • Access to special seats
  • Special invitations to exclusive events
  • Reservations at remarkable restaurants
  • Services of Professional Concierge
  • By Invitation Only (sports, performing arts, business symposiums, etc)

Magazine Subscriptions

  • Black Ink
  • Departures

Equinox Fitness Clubs

  • Centurion member rate
  • Complimentary Personal Training Sessions
  • Spa Treatments
  • Guest passes
  • Kids’ club

Centurion Dining Reservations

Reserved tables at over 1,000 restaurants across North American and abroad for Centurion members

Access to American Express Gold Card Events

Personal Concierge

Centurion members have the choice of being assigned a personal concierge to assist with dining reservations, order flowers and gift baskets, provide local information and city guides, finding special items, and setting up arrangements for special occasions, and more.
Premium Seats (reserved seats)

  • Sports Events
  • Entertainment Events
  • Live Concerts at venues in LA/NY
  • Platinum Lounge Access at Staples center in LA

Tour GCX13 Membership with benefits

$150 credit towards (with purchase of 5-Tee Unit TOUR Card)

Shopping

Special rewards, savings, and individual service for Centurion members. Special privileges and amenities from Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci, Neiman Marcus and Sony.

Extended Warranty

Items paid for with the Centurion Card, receive an extended warranty equal to the duration of the original manufacturer’s warranty, with a maximum of three additional years.

Fraud Protection Guarantee

Protection from fraudulent or unauthorized charges.

Purchase Protection Plan

  • Protection from lost, stolen, or damaged items from accident or vandalism from 90 days of purchase. Coverage up to $10,000 per incident, and $50,000 per card member per year.
  • Return Protection within 90 days, up to $300 per item, and a maximum of $1,000 per account per year.

Membership Rewards First Program

Access to a private collection of luxury retail, lifestyle, and travel rewards.
Check Cashing Privileges

Use your card to cash personal checks at American Express Travel ervice locations, up to $10,000 per account per month.

Order foreign currency and fee-free Travelers Cheques by phone

Receive foreign currency and Travelers Cheques in 9 available currencies delivered to you in five to seven days.

Credit Card Registry

Program for automatically canceling and replacing credit cards registered

No Pre-Set Spending Limit

Purchases are approved based on account history, credit record, and personal resources.

Posted in Centurion Card5 Comments

Black Card How-To Guide

How to Get an American Express Centurion Card (Black Card)

*****THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER VALID, AMERICAN EXPRESS TURNED THE CENTURION CARD BACK TO INVITATION ONLY OCTOBER 2009*****

History

The Centurion Card aka Black Card aka Black AMEX started out as an urban myth regarding a credit card that turned reality on October 14, 1999. “There had been rumors going around that we had this ultra-exclusive black card for elite customers,” says Doug Smith, director of American Express Europe. “It wasn’t true, but we decided to capitalize on the idea anyway. So far we’ve had a customer buy a Bentley and another charter a jet.” This is where it gets a bit crazy, as many people still know more than of the rumor than the actual card, whose requirements have adjusted since it’s original inception in 1999.

Despite all the mystery and hooplah, the Centurion Card is simply a higher form of the American Express Platinum Card; If you’re familiar with traditional American Express cards, they work the same way, there is no “specific limit” per se, but the limit is set according to your relationship with American Express, just as with the Green, Gold, and Platinum cards. As for benefits, well the Centurion Card has a long list of benefits the other cards don’t, most notably automatic elite status on multiple airlines such as Continental, Delta, US Air, Virgin, etc. (Please see the benefits page for more detail)

Eligibility

American Express has changed the Centurion Card back to Invitation only as of 10/2009.

  • The American Express Centurion Card is Invitation Only Again
  • Have been an existing American Express Platinum cardholder for a minimum of 1 year.
  • Spend $250,000 USD (and pay off) within a rolling 12-month period.

Starting from zero?

If you’re starting from zero, the best thing to do is probably sign up for traditional American Express Card. By traditional card I mean the Green, Gold or preferably the Platinum Card. Keep in mind that if you are not approved for the Platinum Card out of the gate it is still best to get a Green card, as you can work towards getting upgraded to Platinum over time.

Secondly, a point often looked over is that the $250,000 is counted in aggregate spend across all personalAmerican Express Corporate Card spending is not eligible spend. Finally, should you trust others, you may choose to add them as additional card members on your account, as this spending counts against the primary card holder as well. American Express cards under the account holder. This means that you do not have to run everything across your American Express Platinum Card, you may choose to, for example, run charges on your Clear from American Express Card, and pay them later (traditional American Express cards, Green, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, are dull in full each month). Further, if you have a traditional American Express (Green, Gold, Por latinum) Business Card, this is considered personal, as it is essentially derived from your personal credit report and history. Please note:

  • Sign up for a traditional American Express Card (Green, Gold, preferably the Platinum Card).  Requirements for the Platinum Card are a minimum annual income of $100,000, and a minimum credit score of 630 (at least that is what it was before the credit crunch started). Click here to get FICO Scores and Credit Reports from MyFICO.com, instantly.
  • Sign up for a traditional Credit Card with American Express such as the Blue American Express Card (to allow flexibility with payments, like normal credit cards).
  • Add additional cardmembers, spouses, siblings (someone you trust, this is your credit!)
  • Spend $20,833.33 a month over a rolling twelve month period.

Spend a lot, and make sure it’s all via AMEX

It may seem somewhat impossible at first, unless you truly do make a fortune like Jay Z and Britney Spears, but it can be done. Keep in mind some of the following:

  • Pay rent or mortgage if possible with your American Express card.
  • Use Bill Pay features and pay all possible bills with the card: Wireless, Utilities, Telephone, Internet, Insurance.
  • Avoid using all other cards if possible and make all charges across your personal American Express cards.
  • If you own your business charge all possible business expenses on the cards, if you work for a company run all corporate expenses that are eligible to be expensed via personal credit card (airfare, hotel, car rental, meals, etc)
  • If you are a small business owner run all expenses possible through the card.

Apply for the Card

It’s no longer invitation only, so if you have the American Express Platinum card, and you think you’ve spent over 250k in the past 12 months, then call up and find out 1-800-528-4800. The Platinum Representative will gladly tabulate your spend and see if you qualify for the card.

If you’re accepted congratulations! And by the way, you’ll be billed $5,000 initiation fee, and $2,500 for annual membership, for a total of $7,500 due at the end of the first billing cycle after having received the card (approximately 30 days).

Also, here are some books that might be helpful:

Posted in General6 Comments

U.K. AMEX Survey shows Value for Money #1

One of the top trends in the high-end is experience which includes cars, boats, planes, homes, travel, dining, learning.

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A recent study by American Express U.K. found that their Centurion card holders seek vacations with “value for money” first and secondly seek “self-fulfillment and learning”. Traveling for dinner? 85% of the surveyed responded in planning international travel specifically for a meal. There, however, is little requirement for this, as more than 3/4 of cardholders plan to hire a personal chef in the future.

http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/category/experiences/

Posted in Demographics, Information0 Comments

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